September 25, 2013 | Quote
Five Reasons Not to Trust Iran on Nukes
Iranian President Hassan Rohani — who this week is attempting to charm the pants off the United Nations, President Barack Obama, world Jewry and Charlie Rose — may succeed in convincing many people that the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, doesn't actually want to gain control of a nuclear arsenal.
Why Rohani would assert this is obvious: The sanctions that the U.S. is imposing on Iran are doing real economic damage. A crippled economy threatens the interests of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and thus the regime's stability. We know that the regime isn't popular among many segments of the Iranian population — witness the brutal crackdown on large-scale protests in 2009 — and that it must make at least some of its citizens happy if it is to survive in the long term.
Rohani hopes to convince the world that Iran's nuclear intentions are peaceful and that his country is a rational, thoughtful player on the global stage and, therefore, please give us access once again to the international banking system.
5. The supreme leader is, in fact, the nuclear program's chief backer. Reuel Marc Gerecht, the former Central Intelligence Agency officer and an Iran expert, said that in Khamenei's eyes, “He would disgrace himself before God and his praetorians, the Revolutionary Guards” if he were to give up his nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of sanctions. “He has invested everything in the nuclear program. It is the core of the Islamic Republic's defense against America. Khamenei would be saying to all that America and the rest of the West had defeated him. He would forfeit the Islamic revolution and quite likely his rule.”